Google announces Voice Search for Chrome and more

June 16th, 2011 by Search Influence Alumni

Google held their “Inside Search” event this week, and as usual, the announcements were innovations worth getting excited about. Then again, we’ve come to expect that as the norm from Google.

Voice Search has been a part of mobile phones for a while now, but Google announced that it would be bringing the feature to Chrome. Rather than type into a search bar, the user can simply speak the term and watch Google do the magic. At the conference, more complex sentences such as “How do I say How do I get a cheeseburger in this neighborhood in Spanish?” were used successfully. On a cell phone, the feature seems more functional to keep people’s hands on the wheel while driving, but on the computer it seems more like a novelty than anything else. That, and I’m sure it won’t be long before the videos of guys yelling inappropriate terms at their computers starts showing up on YouTube.

Image Search also got  a new feature: users can drag a picture from their desktop into the search bar and Google will try to pull info from the photo. For example, if it’s taken in a location Google recognizes, it will pull information on that place and give you results on it. Stalking just got that much easier. Thanks, Google. That wasn’t it for images, though — Google Instant will also pull results as you type a picture into Google Image Search, just like it does when you do a regular web search. It may only save a few seconds, but those seconds may add up to valuable time saved. Instant brags that it brings results faster, and an example at the conference showed some pages loading in under a second. I like hearing that!

What do these new innovations mean for SEO? As image search becomes more powerful, website owners may have to carefully consider how they name the photos they use on their sites, as they may also be turning up in Google Image Searches and may draw the attention of a potential customer.

On the whole, Instant means that people will rely on faster web searches as the norm. The bottom line here: this means you only have a few seconds during a web search to capture a user’s attention, so SEO is more important than ever to ensure that your website is at the top of the list when Google does it’s search-at-the-speed-of-light trick. As the tech around us continually evolves, we must do the same to keep up with it, or risk being left behind.